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How to Answer the Toughest Job Interview Questions

Updated on March 10, 2010

It is natural to fear a job interview. A candidate can barely prepare for all questions that could possibly be asked. Everyone fears failure, embarrassment and rejection.

Some job interview questions should be considered extra carefully. These tough questions could make you feel bad if you are unprepared. You need to be careful when answering such questions in order to refrain from making a bad first impression.

The trick towards answering tough question is taking some time and considering the implications behind the question. Sometimes, you have to be able to avoid answering questions that will make you look bad or incompetent.

These are some of the most commonly asked tough job interview questions and the manner to address each without making yourself look bad.

What interests you about our company?
The question is tricky since it will test the manner in which you did your homework. Study the company in profound details.

Make sure that you know its structure, projects, achievements and clients. Emphasize on the positive aspects you have discovered during your research but make sure that the information you have is verified.

If you are asked a follow-up question that you feel unprepared to answer explain that you will be glad to study the company even more, once you become a member of the team. Show your interest and keep the conversation going.

Do's and Dont's

Do's

1. Arrive early, being late is the most certain way to make bad first impression.

2. Take time dressing appropriately to blend in the company's atmosphere.

3. Print out your CV and references, it might also be a good idea to carry a portfolio along.

4. Keep eye contact constant when answering questions. Looking the interviewer in the eyes signifies that you have nothing to hide.

Dont's

1. Don't go to an interview unprepared - relying on pure luck minimizes your chances to get hired.

2. Don't address the interviewer in a manner that is too friendly - you are being interrogated, keep your distance and show respect.

3. Never chew a gum during an interview.

4. Carry a professional briefcase or a folder where you can organize the documents that you need to carry along.

What is your biggest weakness?
Such questions are asked on purpose to test the manner in which you reveal negative information about your personal and professional characteristics.

As with every other question, honesty is of key importance. You should also know what type of information to refrain from disclosing. It is probably a bad idea to share that you can lose your motivation or that you have difficulty coping with deadlines.

Explain about some negative trait that could also be seen in positive light. You can emphasize on perfectionism, taking too much time to make sure that a project is executed perfectly or trying to be responsible for every aspect of a task. Try to turn the discussion in your favor.

Tell me a little about yourself
This question is vague. And giving a vague answer will signify that you have nothing important and relevant to talk about.

Start with your professional experience. Briefly focus on your educational background and the awards you have received. Refrain from talking too long – keep it short and focused. Talking too much without saying a thing will never do the trick.

Why did you quit your previous job?
Answering honestly why you have decided to quit your previous job can make you look really bad. Under no circumstances reveal detailed information about your previous employer, since you will breach confidentiality this way.

Explain that you are willing to gain a new opportunity or that you have stopped evolving professionally and you need to continue growing. Emphasize on new opportunities rather than problems that you previously experienced.

Why are you the best person for this job?
How do you answer a question that wants you to explain what makes you different from other candidates? Bragging excessively will make you look bad and keeping silent will show that you are uncertain in your qualities.

Put the stress on relevant experience and personal qualities that make you suitable for the position. Meandering and talking ceaselessly about your hobbies, university degree and other activities is the way to get rejected. Be specific and confident in your skills.

The key to making yourself look good is moderate attitude and confidence. Being excessively talkative, confident, shy or modest will never depict you as an individual having important qualities. Remember to take time before answering questions. You need to be certain that you understand what you are being asked before you start answering.

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